The Open Suitcase needs travel ideas for the new year. Where’d you go in 2016? What did you love? Or hate? Leave your suggestions for places to visit, foods to eat, and things to do, or not do, in the comments section for a chance to win some travel inspiration.
The calendar flips in a few days and I need travel ideas for the new year. It’s how I survive winter.
Tell people you’re visiting Grand Rapids and you’re likely to get a confused look. This city of 200,000, located in Western Michigan, is still an under the radar travel destination, but it won’t be for long. It’s easy to navigate, features a premier art destination, and has a lively craft beer scene. It’s easy to sample during a quick weekend getaway, but, once you get a taste, you’ll want to return for a second helping.
The dominant sculpture in the garden is American Horse by Nina Akamu. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC
Looking for a hotel in Quebec City for a weekend getaway? Traditional options abound but if you want a unique experience, consider a stay at Le Monastere des Augustines, a renovated historical monastery with a wellness mission. I embraced its quiet elegance, artfully designed to soothe the mind and ignite the soul.
The renovation of Le Monastere thoughtfully combined the old with the new. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC
Fear of the Unknown
I didn’t know what to expect when I checked into a monastery for a weekend getaway in Quebec City. Would a gaggle of nuns circle me in the lobby and start singing, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Cathy?” as in the Sound of Music. Or, worse, would I be stripped naked and escorted to my room in a shameful walk of atonement like Cersei in Game of Thrones? Continue reading →
I was expecting “Wolf of Wall Street” and I got “On Golden Pond“.
Montauk’s got a bad reputation. It’s widely reported that NYC hipsters and throngs of kids with fake IDs descend on the easternmost village in the Hamptons and trash the place during summer weekends. It’s gotten so bad the locals are fighting back.
But, during the week and off-season, Montauk remains a sleepy coastal village, where people fish. Surf. Veg. Repeat. Continue reading →
Saratoga Springs is a great getaway from NYC. The problem? Everyone knows it. When the annual thoroughbred racing season opens in July, the village is overrun with bonneted women and men with cigars. You can plan on two things: losing more than you win at the track and spending a good part of your summer weekend sitting in traffic.
The secret for a great weekend getaway to this historic upstate New York town? Hit it before the season begins. Continue reading →